Oxfordshire County Council has issued the planning permission for a lake at former gravel pits at Radley to be filled with pulverised fuel ash from Didcot Power Station.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The development involves the pumping of the fuel ash via an existing pipeline from the power station followed by restoration of the site to land-based nature conservation.
The planning permission includes 36 conditions, controlling issues such as protection of ecology, minimisation of disturbance to users of rights of way and prevention of flooding. There is also a legal agreement to ensure that certain other areas at Radley are not used for the disposal of ash from Didcot in the future, and for the long-term management of the site.
What is the background to this? The original resolution to grant permission was made by the council’s planning committee in July 2006. Since then, Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has stated that the county council is free to issue the permission, and the authority's monitoring officer has stated that there are no grounds for further delaying it. This follows submissions from objectors to the development asking for Ruth Kelly to intervene and the decision to be reconsidered.
Chris Cousins, Head of Sustainable Development, said: “This has been a controversial application. The county council has a responsibility to local interests, consultees and the applicant. None of the responsible bodies, such as English Nature or the Environment Agency, has objected to the development. Once the decision has been properly taken, the council has a legal duty to issue the permission.”
Recently, an application has been made to the county council to have an area at Radley Lakes registered as a Village Green. If the Village Green application were to be successful, and Village Green rights were found to exist, it would be the responsibility of RWEnpower as landowner to respect these rights.
Chris Cousins said that the Village Green application and the planning application were governed by different legislation and the council has to treat them separately. He said: “We have, nevertheless, in issuing the planning permission, made sure that we advised RWEnpower of their potential responsibilities should the Village Green application be ultimately successful.”
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